If you could look inside the heads of most people at the gym, you'd probably see their minds doing one of the three things during their workout — thinking about work, singing along with the songs in their headphones or counting out their reps. In this ultimate beginners guide to female weight lifting, we show you how to use strength training to improve your shape, enhance your curves and boost your fitness levels. 6-8 reps: 3-5 sets; 9-12 reps: 3-4 sets; 13+ reps: 2-3 sets (depending on training maybe 4) WHAT DOES 3 SETS OF 15 (10, 5, ETC…) REPS MEAN? Squatting exercises (focusing on hip extension) Plan 3-5 sets of first-level assistance exercises in the 4-8 rep range, while secondary exercises should follow for 3-4 sets in the 5-10 rep range. In this video, we apply simplicity, logic and reason to the optimal sets and reps for strength. Nutrition, sleeping and also training. Gradually increase the weight. As a general rule of thumb, your training volume should increase over time. Reps: 1 – 5 Weight: 85 – 100% Sets: 6 – 10 Rest: 2 – 5 minutes. Progress in the gym training for strength largely depends on upon the pattern of sets and reps along with weight lifting pattern. My name is Alex, and I'm the owner and author of King of the Gym. Here are the basic guidelines: Of course, the above are general recommendations. You skim articles and understand the gist of them, but for the most part you still run with the template. Table 1. Sets. I discuss rest between sets in detail, later. Also, if you do 4 sets of 8 reps, the first two sets are pretty easy but the last two are hard. NOW EVOLVE YOUR THINKING: Lift by feel. Frequency. By Kristy Donathan Bryant on April 2, 2015 Exercise. Keep the number of sets and reps the same, and increase your weight. For beginners, give yourself several weeks of conditioning before going to this level. Reps and Sets. advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. As for the specific amount of reps and sets to perform for each exercise, it is common to perform 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps for one particular exercise, and then switch to a different exercise. (lower weight, higher reps) I recommend 5-6 reps if you want to focus on building strength. You can’t design a strength-training (or weight-training) program without knowing two terms: rep and set. Building muscle volume: Hypertrophy, the technical term for muscle size increases, requires lifting with high volume (reps multiplied by sets multiplied by weight). One to two minutes of rest between sets is recommended for hypertrophy training. A set is a group of consecutive repetitions. The specific combinations of reps, sets, exercises, resistance and force depend on the purpose of the individual performing the exercise: sets with fewer reps can be performed using more fo… It depends largely on what type of training you’re doing? THIS IS YOU IF: You've read so many articles — and read them so carefully — you probably know more than the staff of personal trainers at your gym. Weight lifting is one of your main tools, but you need to know how to use the right exercises, weight, reps, sets, and methods to build muscle in the right muscle groups. 12 min read. If you're wondering, "how many sets to build muscle?' But let's take a closer look at that last one. She is a former American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and currently works as a Level 1 CrossFit coach. Weight training is not a counting exercise. Everything you need to know about weight lifting and diabetes. You don't just want a workout plan; you want to understand the logic behind it. Learn more. used as a substitute for professional medical advice, If you've been working in the strength zone since the beginning of time, it's time to try a hypertrophy approach. If you were to do that same motion 5 times in a row, that would be 5 reps. Sets refer to a sequential collection of a predetermined number of reps. Your goal is to push past your comfort zone. Dr. Bailey is also an Anatomy and Physiology professor. For strength only 4 to 5, hypertrophy 2 to 3 , hypertrophy / strength – 3 to 4, You need to implement rest periods that will cause both sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar muscle hypertrophy. Stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition — any of that stuff can affect your workouts. As you mature and improve your fitness, it becomes harder to make dramatic changes. Think about it: Losing the first 20 pounds feels like a breeze compared to melting the last five. However, the weight that you must lift in this rep range must be considerably heavy, which will be discussed later in this article. Two of the most important aspects of an effective strength training routine include volume and intensity. There are two good rep ranges that I would recommend for both beginners and experienced lifters: 4 – 6 reps per set and 5 – 10 reps per set of both 3 sets total. Training volume is defined as the amount of sets x reps you perform over time for a given body part or movement, in other words, the total amount of work you do. What are reps and sets? You may need a little more or less on some exercises and sets. Read more: How Many Sets and Reps Build Big Muscles? Once considered an activity reserved for beach-going Ken doll types, weight tr… So your goal is to find a rep range that maintains a higher level of mental focus. What are reps and sets? going with sumo deadlifts instead of Romanian deadlifts) but you keep the crux of the workout the same. diagnosis or treatment. How Many Sets and Reps Build Big Muscles? Not that it doesn't work, but you'll make more of your time in the gym if you forget the must-hit-a-number doctrine and learn to lift more by feel — and to suit your personality. And as always, the common answers are usually confusing. The 1-5 rep range is best if you have been training regularly (3-4 times per week) for over 6 months, are an athlete, or are looking to become stronger, faster and increase your rate of force development (power). On those days when you come to the gym stressed, ill or exhausted, pushing for 10 reps for three straight sets may actually be counterproductive in the long run. You can then think of those as 12 reps … The number of times you work each muscle group per week. My point in using this silly hypothetical scenario is to show that these three goal-related rep ranges are on a continuum. 3 x 10 @ 75% - Three sets of 10 reps at 75% of the 1RM; 8/80%, 6/85%, 6/85%, 4/90% - Eight reps at 80%, two sets of six reps at 85%, and four reps at 90% of the 1RM . Thirty seconds to one minute of rest between sets is recommended for endurance training. The answer is the principle of Auto Regulation. Sometimes this means you change things up with an existing workout, other times you draw up an entirely original workout based on new ideas. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. July 31, 2014. For muscular endurance, do two to three sets of 12 reps or more at 60 to 70 percent of your max. 67 comments. In fact, if you're always hitting 10 reps when your range is six to 10, try a using a heavier weight or more challenging variation of the exercise. Sets that stretch past 15 reps, though, have one major drawback: The amount of weight you can handle isn’t heavy enough to recruit fast-twitch type-2 muscle fibers. Many people are confused about how many sets and repetitions you are supposed to do. How Did You Like My Weight Lifting Sets and Reps Guide? While they can vary a bit, the general range for each is as follows: For general fitness, says ExRx.net, do one to two sets of eight to 15 reps at 65 to 80 percent of your maximum effort. Sets. 67% of 1RM: 107 pounds, 12 repetitions. Reps in the 12+ range primarily build muscular endurance and size and also cardiovascular health. You should mix it up with 2-3 different exercises to hit the muscle from different angles. This is your 15 rep maximum. All the basics needed to create an effective strength training program . There is no magic number when it comes to sets and reps. To develop a plan that's going to be successful for you, you need to determine what kind of thinker you are when it comes to working out. Rest Between Sets. Wouldnt it be better to do 2 sets of 10 reps followed by 2 sets of 7 reps? For example, if after a couple weeks of lifting, you can easily do three sets of 10 reps with 10-pound dumbbells, then pick up 15-pounders and do the same program, and then repeat this process. Every person that steps into the gym finds that certain things work for them, and other things don't. Your kids get sick, your boss makes you pull a double-shift or your homework takes longer than you thought it would. This article is part of our Strength 101 series, and we’ll show you exactly how to determine the number of repetitions and sets for specific exercises, so you can build your own workout routine. A set describes the group of repetitions completed for an exercise without stopping. Fewer than 6 reps may mean you are lifting too heavy for optimal weight loss (and, if you are a beginner, you may be at a higher risk for injury), while more than 15 reps may indicate that you are using weight training for endurance rather than strength and intensity. For example, if you do 1 set of 15 squats right now, you just did 1 set of 15 reps. I GOT YOUR BACK! Table of Contents: SETS, REPS & WEIGHTS? So, let’s say you do 12 bodyweight squats. For example, if one could perform 10 reps at 75 lbs, then their RM for that weight would be 10RM. Jon Goodman, CSCS is the Head Coach and Creator of the Personal Trainer Development Center. Since the quality of sets and reps is most important, rep quality determines how many sets and reps you perform. When it comes to building muscle, lifting it all out in the gym through endless hours of workouts can be counter-productive. You should train as frequently as your muscles can recover. While the above guidelines are helpful, they lack one important variable: You. The Ultimate Guide to Sets and Reps for Strength Training | Livestrong.com I started this website back in late 2009 during college, and it has been my pet project ever since. If someone hands you a lifting plan with a 1,500-word article explaining the theory behind it, you skip those pesky words and go straight to the workouts. When it comes to reps, says ACE Fitness, different numbers can help you reach different goals. 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